Name on ballot:
Paul (Amaury) Bryant
Previous job history:
Cultural journalist/Tokyo (1965~92); modeled internationally (1965~90); DOE teacher: HS English + Japanese & 4th grade (1992~95); sheep ranching (1990~2008); Fine Arts Gallery owner (1996~2008); USPS Postmaster (2007~8); authored 6 books and lectured on Japanese culture worldwide (1970~present); currently working on book #7.
Previous elected office, if any:
Only within private organizations.
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.
A multicultural background in my schooling and work overseas plus playing active roles in four Big Island non-profits gives me both an insight and experience working with the local and transient communities that make up the fluctuating population of Hawaii County. In that case I’d be a great representative MAYOR for Hawaii County as outlined in my last paragraphs far below. Something for all to think about!
What will be your top priority if elected?
Initially to see our county survives COVID 19 by actively promoting whatever CDC science-based procedures are reccomended and to use plain common sense before allowing our hurting economy to fall into the chasm of over-eagerness. COVID is not going away quietly and administrative vigilance should be the rule of each day. Once this virus is truly under control we, as a county, will have to make hard decisions about what economic route we should take to create a secure future for residents and visitors alike. As the Hawaii of yesteryear has gone and the more modern Hawaii of the past half century is facing drastic change – it behooves all of us to take part in creating a sustainable Hawaii for future generations.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?
It does seem prudent to make mandatory face mask use in shops and in public. Airborne viral mist from simple breathing can infect persons 12′ or more away without use of a mask. When a true vaccine is available we should innoculate every county resident much like what was done in the 1950’s to stop the spread of polio. One assumes a spittle type test to quickly determine Covid infections will soon be available. ALL incoming passengers (air or sea) will have to pass this simple test or go to a controlled quarantine station. So far it’s been fairly well proven one cannot trust the average dolt to do what is a required 2 week stay within specified house boundaries. We cannot afford to be checking up on these people and so they will be confined to a secured location for the entire 14 days at their own expense.
What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
Everything possible short of further spreading COVID 19 among the unifected populace. Federal and State funds (if available) should be accessed and a county-wide law preventing evictions for non-payment of rent be set in place to protect both residences and workplaces that are leased or rented.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and what should the county government’s role be in the process?
Many of the Kupuna I have spoken with believe the TMT is an extension of the star guided travel that brought the first Hawaiians here. Going on with studies of the heavens seems a no-brainer. The real problem rests with the State and Univ. Board who oversea the use of Mauna Kea for this speciality. We as a county should not ever again be dragged into being their enforcer. The agreement that was hammered out in court gave TMT the right to build based upon the removal of 5(?) designated “obsolete” observatories now on the mountain. I personally feel no more work on the TMT should be allowed till much of the demolition work has also been done.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
Hawaii County in not Oahu or Honolulu. We need police but in a more population safety manner. Instead of speed traps I feel strongly that DUI roadblocks should be more common and immediate impounding of the vehicle be done at that time.
I’d rather see sensible laws (driving anytime should require use of headlights) put in place for the SAFETY of other drivers, pedestrians & bicyclists so all can arrive alive. Any fines levied for traffic infractions should NOT go to the state but rather be kept to improve our road system. NZ has an interesting way of managing road safety that should be looked at for our county. Lets have a truly model force other counties might admire and wish to emulate.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I’ve always felt “Thinking outside the box,” to be a great motto for living. We as county residents have allowed leaders of the past to repeat the same senseless expenditures of our tax monies when it’s apparent these status quo solutions only serve to line the pockets of a few. Strangely enuf those few are often strong supporters of those administrations. Our voting system breeds a type of “communal incest” mixed with “don’t ask don’t tell” that has many people disgusted with voting when nothing ever changes despite much being promised. It’s time to make the position of MAYOR an honorary one for meeting dignitaries and cutting ribbons, etc. After all it is a popularity contest here on the BIG Island. We need a well-paid expert CITY MANAGER instead. Someone brought in from outside who knows how to deal with a work force of 2000 plus and can speak/act with foreknowledge about budgets that run to 600,000,000 dollars. This is not a job for an amateur or even the most popular person on the ballot. Expertise should be the watchword and that person hired would be expected to produce results or be looking elsewhere for work. The County is not a playground but rather a structured business that is often poorly run. Let’s turn that around by making sure changes happen. That’s what running twice for BIG Island Mayor has brought me to firmly believe. Everyone needs to learn that the word “CHANGE” is not a dirty word.
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